By: Shiwen Yap
March 10, 2017: Kyoto-based Darma Tech Labs, which runs the Makers Boot Camp (MBC) hardware startup-focused accelerator, on Tuesday announced that it is forming an investment fund worth 2 billion yen ($17.5 million). TSE-listed Kyoto Bank is an anchor limited partner (LP) for the fund. Called MBC Shisaku No. 1 Investment LP, its redemption period is 10 years and it will target investments in early-stage hardware startups in Japan, North America, and Europe. Darma Tech Labs Inc, set up in 2015, provides an acceleration programme that focuses on hardware development aspects for mass manufacturing needs. It supports in basic hardware training/education to mass-production prototyping support, and marketing and sales. It accelerates ventures operating in various fields, such as consumer oriented hardware and Internet of Things (IoT); healthcare and medical devices; agriculture, energy, environment, and infrastructure; factory automation; automotive; drug discovery and chemistry; and traditional craft and technology fusion markets. The priority investment areas of the latest fund include IoT, robotics, sensing, networking, big data analysis, medical devices, nursing care, lifestyle, environment and energy. The latest fund will see Mikuni Kimura, the former chief investment officer for Future Venture Capital, along with certified public accountant Manabu Kuwahara joining as managing directors at Darma Tech Labs. Additionally, Darm Tech Labs is expanding their field of partners with this fund, which will also see it joining with New York City-based FabFoundry. FabFoundrys’ CEO, Nobuhiro Seki, will serve as a director of Darma Tech Labs.